Mini meat breeds of pigs?

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by Icedangel11, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. Icedangel11

    Icedangel11 New Member

    177
    May 22, 2014
    I'm hoping to get some mini pigs for meat here shortly, a breeding pair or trio most likely, and I'm trying to decide on breeds.

    I've come down to two breeds, the potbelly and the Juliana. The Juliana's are smaller so easier to process from what I've read (Not supposed to get over 65 pounds, if purebred) so that is a draw.. but supposedly Pot bellies have THE most tasty meat!

    I've got a pasture in the works, they'll be separate from my goats so I don't have any kid snack attacks.

    My current plan is to get friendlier pigs and handle them and the babies frequently so they are sweet and friendly. But ultimately they will be eaten with very few being sold off as feeders or whatever.. Not sure I'd feel okay with marketing them as 'pets' if they are pasture raised so I will mostly likely sell to 4-H or meat raisers.
     
  2. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Probably better to go with the potbelly pigs. You don't want too small for meat.
     

  3. PippasCubby

    PippasCubby Well-Known Member

    589
    May 13, 2015
    E. WA
    I agree that the Potbelly pig, may be overall more useful for meat. The Juliana would be 65lbs full grown. You would probably be butchering at a younger age and smaller size.

    You mention you may sell to 4-H'ers, keep in mind that 4-H market pigs often have a minimum weight near 200lbs at fair time. Neither of these breeds would work for that market. But if you were just thinking for 4-H'ers as a "pet" or "breeding" project, that would work!

    I bet there will be lots of people willing to buy as a small market pig for their own raising/consumption though!

    What made you decide on these two breeds? If we ever get pigs, I have decided I want American Guinea Hogs...or the Mulefoot Hog...but they are big (and rare) :)
     
  4. Icedangel11

    Icedangel11 New Member

    177
    May 22, 2014
    Supposedly Juliana's have decent butchering weights, but I do think the potbellies would taste better. Plus, the extra lard is usefull.

    I decided to go with the smaller breeds because of a few reasons. They are easier all around to handle, need less space, less food, Less waste product, and are a little less dangerous to myself and my other animals. I'm using electric netting as fencing, most likely a 2.8-3 joules fence, which should contain smaller pigs just fine. Smaller pigs get to butcher weight quicker (reaching about 50% adult weight in 7 months on average, versus 30-40% weight from the larger pigs) and can be butchered by me a lot easier. I would not have the tools, time, or ability to butcher the larger ones. And I do want to butcher myself.

    They also root the dirt a lot shallower than the larger pigs, so they can till a garden for me without actually destroying it. And there is also the chance for an artisinal meat market with the PB meat. I'm thinking of trying to reproduce the acorn pork in potbellies. Like this; http://www.fullcirclebisonranch.com/organic-acorn-finished-pork/

    It's also possible to sell some of the piglets as pets, whereas larger breeds are pretty much 'meat' or 'breeders'
     
  5. PippasCubby

    PippasCubby Well-Known Member

    589
    May 13, 2015
    E. WA
    Very cool! Those are some of the reasons we were looking at smaller pigs too. Every time we would tell someone we were thinking about using Potbelly pigs as meat we would get really weird looks.

    If you end up with Potbelly pigs, I would love to hear what you thought of their ease of keeping and butchering qualities.
     
  6. Icedangel11

    Icedangel11 New Member

    177
    May 22, 2014
    Yeah, I'm not sure how well I could actually sell to the non-4H 'pet' sector if I eat them.. One person once said eating Potbellies causes cancer in order to persuade people away from it. however, I doubt outdoor raised pot's would become good house pets, no matter how much I handled them.

    On the other end, I know one person who SWEARS Potbelly boars don't have the boar taint if you butcher them right. In a massive hog, boars have a lot of testosterone in them to get them all fired up, but potbellies don't get that much in them so it doesn't taint the meat... This I'm not sure about, but am willing to test.